MLC September Updates

The Michigan Legislative Consultants (MLC) is sharing the latest updates with our members informed on what’s happening at the State Capitol in our MLC September Updates.

MLC August Updates

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, September 28, 2020.

Monday, September 28 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 5,329
  • Total Cases: 133,735
  • Weekly Deaths: 66
  • Total Deaths: 6,731
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 5,972
  • Total Cases: 143,281
  • Weekly Deaths: 119
  • Total Deaths: 4,444
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 6,295
  • Total Cases: 118,322
  • Weekly Deaths: 78
  • Total Deaths: 3,365
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 13,904
  • Total Cases: 289,639
  • Weekly Deaths: 157
  • Total Deaths: 8,614
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 15,090
  • Total Cases: 117,588
  • Weekly Deaths: 39
  • Total Deaths: 1,283

Executive Orders

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued three new Executive Orders.

  • Executive Order 2020-183 – Increases the capacity limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings.
  • Executive Order 2020-184 – Updates the previous order on workplace safeguards to reflect changes in the MI Safe Start Order.
  • Executive Order 2020-185 – Requires all students in kindergarten and up to wear face coverings in classrooms.

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on H.R. 8337, the House’s stopgap funding measure to keep the government open and funded through December 11, 2020. The House passed their legislation last week with a vote of 359-57, and the Senate held a vote on a motion to proceed to the bill, confirming 93-2. This bipartisan legislation also provides aid to farmers and food assistance to low-income families. If and when this bill passes tomorrow, lawmakers will resume attempts to complete work on 12 appropriations bills to fund the government in 2021. While the House already passed their bills, the Senate has yet to draft any appropriations legislation.

President Trump has issued several Executive Orders aimed at lowering drug pricing for Americans, though most of his proposals, including the “most favored nation” approach to generic drug pricing and importing pharmaceuticals, have yet to go into effect. Last week, the Administration announced a plan that will send $200 coupons to 33 million seniors on Medicare for prescription drug copays. A source of funding for the program remains unclear, though Speaker Pelosi and other Democrats made note that it would likely have to come from the Medicare trust fund. The plan is valued at approximately $6 billion, and cards will be mailed in the coming weeks.

Halloween Safety Guidelines Released

As the state moves closer to Halloween, while continuing to face the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health and Human Services released guidelines to help residents participate in trick or treating in a safe manner. Many of the guidelines are in keeping with what we already know to be best practices, including physical distancing, wearing a mask, and staying home if you have any symptoms. It also provides guidance such as handing out candy on a table to avoid direct contact and marking six-foot lines leading up to your home to help others physically distance.

To view the full set of guidelines from the department, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • Governor Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist announced a significant decrease in racial disparities of COVID-19 cases and death. Click here to read more.
  • Governor Whitmer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, and Chief Legal Counsel Mark Totten recorded a video discussion on the state’s response to the pandemic. Click here to watch the video.

National Articles

  • Known as ‘long haulers’ many who recovered from COVID-19 still feel negative impacts on their health months later. Click here to read more.
  • Only ten states are seeing decreases in the number of COVID-19 cases as we head into the fall season. Click here to read more.

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

We are sharing executive orders with you as they are announced. A complete list with links to each of the Executive Orders is available here.

Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Tuesday, September 22 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 5,882
  • Total Cases: 117,406
  • Weekly Deaths: 74
  • Total Deaths: 6,665
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 6,074
  • Total Cases: 137,309
  • Weekly Deaths: 199
  • Total Deaths: 4,325
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 5,487
  • Total Cases: 112,027
  • Weekly Deaths: 72
  • Total Deaths: 3,287
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 12,991
  • Total Cases: 275,735
  • Weekly Deaths: 143
  • Total Deaths: 8,457
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 12,542
  • Total Cases: 102,498
  • Weekly Deaths: 34
  • Total Deaths: 1,244

Executive Orders

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has not issued any new Executive Orders.

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

To avoid a shutdown and continue funding the government beyond September 30, Congress must vote on a short-term spending bill before they leave for district and state work periods at the end of the month. There is a bipartisan effort to make this a “clean” deal that excludes non-government funding related add-ons. This agreement includes the removal of relief for farmers requested by the White House, food assistance for families requested by Democrats, and any stimulus package-related items. The bill will likely extend funding through mid-December 2020. Following several days of negotiations and drafting, House Democrats plan to release text early this week. They plan to bring the bill to the House floor for votes by the end of this week, and, once approved, will send it over to the Senate for approval.

Many businesses, organizations, the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and the Supreme Court have chosen to opt-out of Pres. Trump’s Executive Order legalizing a payroll tax deferral through the end of the year. Congress hasn’t agreed to forgive those taxes, so employees would technically still owe that money back before April of next year. Pres. Trump has suggested that, if re-elected, he would extend the deferral and possibly even forgive the taxes. Democrats see this as a chance to gain votes among those who rely on Social Security, which uses those taxes as a source of funding.

The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and her dying wish for the Senate to take up replacement nominations post-Election were met with controversy by Pres. Trump and his demand for the speedy confirmation of his pick for a new justice. The decision by Leader McConnell to go ahead with Pres. Trump’s choice for a replacement would be divisive in many ways. It would contradict the Senate GOP’s decision to hold off on confirming D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia during Pres. Obama’s final 11 months in office; it would also put many Republican senators in a tough situation, as 3 of 10 competitive Senate races include current senators that sit on the Judiciary Committee. With less than 50 days until the election, the time spent sitting through confirmation hearings would take away from campaigning and raising campaign funds.

State Targets Wastewater Testing Programs

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services announced a $10 million grant for a three-month pilot program to fund local public health department efforts to coordinate with counties, universities, and other institutions across the state on COVID-19 wastewater testing programs. These local efforts have the potential to be an early warning system for the spread of COVID-19 within a specific community or for coronavirus outbreaks on college campuses and at other densely populated facilities. Funding using Federal CARES dollars, the program will target existing COVID-19 wastewater surveillance programs in the state to establish a standardized and coordinated network of monitoring systems operating by Oct. 1, 2020.

For more information, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • For some people, surviving the virus doesn’t stop their battle against ongoing problems. Click here to read more.
  • To avoid further straining the health system, the state is working to increase flu vaccines by one million people. Click here to read more.
  • The Department of Labor and Economic Growth updated their workplace safety guidelines to include gyms, pools, bowling alleys, roller, and ice rinks. Click here to visit their website.

National Articles

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

We are sharing executive orders with you as they are announced. A complete list with links to each of the Executive Orders is available here.

Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

Tuesday, September 15 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 3,712
  • Total Cases: 111,524
  • Weekly Deaths: 52
  • Total Deaths: 6,591
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 6,091
  • Total Cases: 131,235
  • Weekly Deaths: 117
  • Total Deaths: 4,126
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 5,760
  • Total Cases: 106,540
  • Weekly Deaths: 59
  • Total Deaths: 3,215
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 10,391
  • Total Cases: 262,744
  • Weekly Deaths: 128
  • Total Deaths: 8,314
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 7,479
  • Total Cases: 89,956
  • Weekly Deaths: 42
  • Total Deaths: 1,210

Executive Orders

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued one new Executive Order.

  • Executive Order 2020-180 – Clarifies the rules on face coverings for organized sports during training, practice, and competition.

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

Over the weekend, the President signed a new Executive Order, one that focuses on lowering costs for Medicare Part B and Part D. It is the second version of his “most favored nation” order and attempts to link prices to those paid by other countries. Prices for drugs administered by doctors will be written based on the lowest price among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development with a similar per-capital GDP as the United States. The secretary of Health and Human Services will present the proposal, but the deadline remains unclear. Pharmaceutical companies, many conservative groups, Democrats, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are among those who oppose this plan.

Last Thursday, the Senate voted on a targeted $500 billion COVID-19 relief package. The bill failed, with a vote of 52-47. It was an edited version of both the $1 trillion HEALS Act and a separate GOP “skinny” bill, neither of which were considered for floor votes. The House passed their version of an additional relief package in May, the $3.5 trillion HEROES Act. The Senate’s narrow bill is seen by many as a re-opening for one last chance at a stimulus bill before Congress breaks to the campaign going into the November elections.

Kevin Brady (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee, introduced the Support for Workers, Families, and Social Security Act last week. The bill proposes a four-month tax holiday building off of the President’s Payroll Tax Deferral Executive Order. It would ensure that workers, families, and small businesses have tax relief from September 1 through December 31, 2020, providing forgiveness for payroll taxes.

Campaign Launched to Contain Spread

The Department of Health and Human Services launched a campaign, named “Spread Hope, Not COVID,” aiming to educate residents on containing the spread of the virus. Through this, the state hopes to allow the state’s economy, school, and communities to safely reopen and stay open. The campaign urges the use of actions to reduce the spreading of the virus, such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and proper handwashing.

The campaign will utilize broadcast, outdoor, social and digital media, and the news media. Along with sharing information through associations, K-12 schools, college, and university organizations, among others.

For more information, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has awarded an additional $4.7 million to 71 businesses and 15 counties to assist with COVID-19 recovery efforts. Click here to read more.
  • Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon signed an epidemic order allowing outdoor visits with residents at residential care facilities. Click here to read more.
  • The Unemployment Insurance Agency has begun processing an additional $300 in benefits-eligible Michigan residents. Click here to read more.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services is going to begin posting school outbreak data today. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • The World Health Organization announced that yesterday had the highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases. Click here to read more.
  • Due to his distance from the audience, President Trump said he’s not worried about catching COVID-19 at one of his rallies. Click here to read more.
  • Conversely, the Biden campaign is taking numerous steps to ensure he doesn’t catch the virus. Click here to read more.

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

We are sharing executive orders with you as they are announced. A complete list with links to each of the Executive Orders is available here.

Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

Wednesday, September 9 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 5,344
  • Total Cases: 107,812
  • Weekly Deaths: 59
  • Total Deaths: 6,539
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 8,478
  • Total Cases: 125,144
  • Weekly Deaths: 155
  • Total Deaths: 4,009
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 6,584
  • Total Cases: 100,780
  • Weekly Deaths: 79
  • Total Deaths: 3,156
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 17,330
  • Total Cases: 252,353
  • Weekly Deaths: 160
  • Total Deaths: 8,186
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 6,874
  • Total Cases: 82,477
  • Weekly Deaths: 46
  • Total Deaths: 1,168

Executive Orders

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued five new Executive Orders.

  • Executive Order 2020-175 – Outlines workplace safety measures gyms and pools must follow.
  • Executive Order 2020-176 – Reopens gyms and pools and allows organized sports practices and competitions.
  • Executive Order 2020-177 – Extends the State of Emergency through October 1, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
  • Executive Order 2020-178 – Extends health and safety rules for grocery stores and pharmacies through September 30.
  • Executive Order 2020-179 – Extends infection control protocols in nursing homes through September 30.

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

This week, the Senate is back in session to work on a stopgap bill to fund the government beyond September 30, discuss coronavirus aid, and pass other time-sensitive legislative prior to October Recess and the November elections. Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin agreed last week that a clean Continuing Resolution, free of any additional Coronavirus aid or social justice-related provisions, is necessary. With just a few business days to agree on measures for a stopgap, including the controversial sticking point of its duration, the House and Senate are running against the clock to ensure that a government shutdown does not occur.

Secretary Mnuchin announced over the weekend that he is in favor of a relief bill and suggested that lawmakers go line-by-line to pass legislation that is agreed upon by everyone. This morning, Tuesday, McConnell announced that a Senate floor vote will come as early as the end of this week on a “skinny” version of the Senate GOP Coronavirus bill, which includes just under $1 trillion in aid. Disagreements come from both sides, as House and Senate Democrats agree that much more than $1 trillion is needed, while many conservative Republicans think any amount of money is too much to be spending, especially as the unemployment rate continues to decline.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report last week that in the next fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the debt will begin to exceed the size of total economic output in the United States. By 2023, if the economy continues on its current trajectory, the debt will equal 107 percent of GDP, which would be the highest debt-to-GDP level in history. The CBO attributed much of this debt to entitlement programs, healthcare costs, and now coronavirus pandemic spending; the deficit for FY 2020 is now three times higher than what the CBO projected just six months ago, spiking from a projection of $1.1 trillion in March to $3.3 trillion currently.

Workplace Safety Education Program Launched

The Department of Labor and Economic Growth and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) are launching a new program to support businesses reopening safely. The Ambassador Program offers education and one-on-one guidance to help businesses understand regulations on workplace safety. MIOSHA has been working with Michigan employers to help comply with requirements of the Governor’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance, and OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. This program enhances MIOSHA’s consultative services designed and focused on education. Guidance and resources are posted at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety.

Michigan Articles

  • The Department of Health and Human Services has changed the cadence for COVID-19 data posted online, omitting Sunday data. Click here to read more.
  • COVID-19 case numbers have remained steady for months, but that might not be a bad thing. Click here to read more.
  • Republican legislative leaders are urging the Big Ten to hold football this fall. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • The question over funding for state and local governments is holding up another round of Federal funding. Click here to read more.
  • Once a hotspot, for the last thirty days New York’s infection rate has been less than 1%. Click here to read more.
  • Convalescent plasma has become of three potentially helpful strategies for those fighting COVID-19. Click here to read more.

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

We are sharing executive orders with you as they are announced. A complete list with links to each of the Executive Orders is available here.

Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.

 


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Tuesday, September 1 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 4,808
  • Total Cases: 102,468
  • Weekly Deaths: 83
  • Total Deaths: 6,480
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 7,100
  • Total Cases: 116,666
  • Weekly Deaths: 149
  • Total Deaths: 3,854
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 6,604
  • Total Cases: 94,196
  • Weekly Deaths: 69
  • Total Deaths: 3,077
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 13,233
  • Total Cases: 235,023
  • Weekly Deaths: 138
  • Total Deaths: 8,026
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 4,749
  • Total Cases: 75,603
  • Weekly Deaths: 41
  • Total Deaths: 1,122

Executive Orders

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued three new Executive Orders.

  • Executive Order 2020-172 – Prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the decision to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick.
  • Executive Order 2020-173 – Extends a previous order allowing business to be conducted remotely by permitting expanded use of e-notaries and e-signatures.
  • Executive Order 2020-174 – Continues the limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

When members of the House and Senate return to Capitol Hill next week for the last month in session before the November elections, they will need to pass legislation to fund the government beyond September 30, 2020, and work on a COVID relief deal. The House already passed its versions of both in the HEROES Act and several minibus appropriations packages. The Senate has introduced legislation but has not voted on anything. The Senate Appropriations Committee has not taken up legislation on FY 2021 funding, due to partisan disputes within the committee. A Continuing Resolution to extend current funding beyond September 30 will likely be the solution to avert a government shutdown; Democrats are pushing for a funding bill through November 2020, while Republicans would like a CR through the end of March 2021. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also stated last week that Republicans are in favor of including relief funding in the stopgap bill, most notably to extend the Payroll Support Program (which directly supports the airline industry) and provide further funding to airlines and transit systems.

Earlier this month, President Trump signed four Executive Orders as the result of the inability of the House and Senate to pass another COVID relief bill. One of the most controversial orders is his Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disasters, which will defer the employee portion of the payroll tax under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act from September 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Last Friday, the Treasury Department released guidance explaining the plan: Among other measures, any taxes deferred would be owed in installments between January 1, 2021, and April 30, 2021. The program has been deemed optional for employers.

PPE Grant Program Announced

The Department of Health and Human Services announced a $25 million grant program for personal protective equipment (PPE) that will allow medical facilities and other providers to keep patients and staff safe. The grant is funded through the federal CARES Act and aims to assist facilities facing increased costs for PPE for up to 90 days. Eligible facilities include long-term care facilities, dialysis centers, outpatient medical facilities, home health care providers, dental offices, pharmacies, EMS providers, funeral and mortuary services, long-term acute care hospitals, and residential congregate facilities. For more information, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • A deal for hazard pay and COVID-19 testing will keep Detroit public school teachers from a safety strike. Click here to read more.
  • The MHSAA is asking Governor Whitmer to reconsider social distancing guidelines outlined in an executive order, which may allow for high school football to return in the fall. Click here to read more.
  • Beaumont Health is lifting the ban on hospital visitors at one of their facilities. Click here to read more.

National Articles

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders Related to COVID-19

We are sharing executive orders with you as they are announced. A complete list with links to each of the Executive Orders is available here.

  • Executive Order 2020-169 – Maintains the infection control protocols in nursing homes and protects residents from eviction and employees from retaliatory action for staying home when exhibiting symptoms.
  • Executive Order 2020-170 – Requires the Department of Corrections to conduct testing at the entry, transfer, and release of any prisoner.
  • Executive Order 2020-172 – Prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the decision to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick.
  • Executive Order 2020-173 – Extends a previous order allowing business to be conducted remotely by permitting expanded use of e-notaries and e-signatures.
  • Executive Order 2020-174 – Continues the limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.

Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.

Stay Updated

While these are very uncertain times, know the MLC Team, along with POAM, is available to answer your questions regarding this MLC September Updates. Additionally, we will provide regular updates as more information becomes available.

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